Expected before the end of 2018

Mississippi, West Virginia and Rhode Island close to offering sports betting

The three states have passed bills exempting certain gaming establishments, which could result in smooth sailing now that PASPA has been overturned. Pennsylvania and New York are also pushing efforts to legalize sports wagering.
2018-07-16
Reading time 2:41 min
The three states have passed bills exempting certain gaming establishments, which could result in smooth sailing now that PASPA has been overturned. Pennsylvania and New York are also pushing efforts to legalize sports wagering, although industry insiders claim the two states would not make it before 2019.

Before this year, you could only place legal wagers on single sporting events in the United States in one place: Nevada.

Thanks to a US Supreme Court decision this spring striking down the federal ban on wagering outside of Nevada, you can or will be able to bet on sports in a variety of other states as well. That has led to a constantly changing climate for sports gambling around the country, with states moving forward on legal wagering or starting to talk about the issue.

Sports betting is already legal in three states:

New Jersey: NJ is the state that originally challenged the federal law on sports wagering -- aka the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. It formally legalized and regulated wagering on June 11, and the first bets came a few days later.

You can already place bets in Atlantic City, at both the Borgata and the new Ocean Resort Casino. The latter debuted a sportsbook when it threw open its doors on June 28. You can also bet at Monmouth Park, a racetrack in the northern part of the state. The Meadowlands Racetrack near New York City also plans to open up a sportsbook this weekend. On top of all that, online and mobile wagering will be legal throughout the state. Tracks and casinos plan to roll out their internet offerings later this summer.

Delaware: Delaware was actually the first state outside of Nevada to have legal single-game wagering, as it launched on June 5. Right now, sports betting is only available at the state's three racetrack casinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway and Casino.

The Delaware Lottery, which runs sports wagering in the state, has plans to offer mobile wagering down the road.

Nevada: The Silver State has had legal betting for decades, so nothing new here. Casinos in Las Vegas and around Nevada will continue to offer physical sportsbooks and mobile betting apps.

That leaves three more states which plan to offer wagering before the calendar turns over to the new year.

Mississippi: The state passed a law in 2017 allowing sports betting to take place inside casinos. (That means no off-site wagering via the internet, for now). Officials in Mississippi have said that regulations will allow for legal betting on July 21. No fewer than nine different casinos have made their intentions known to offer sports wagering, including those owned by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment.

West Virginia: Early in 2018, West Virginia passed a law that would take effect if the federal ban went away. The state hopes to have sports betting live at its five casinos (four of them are also racetracks) and via mobile apps in time for the football season in September. The only deal we know that is in place is between daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel and a private casino called The Greenbrier.

Rhode Island: Rhode Island legalized sports wagering at its two casinos as part of its budget bill. There will likely be sportsbooks at both Twin River casinos; there are currently no plans for online wagering.

And then there are two states where sports betting is expected to be legalised by 2019.

Pennsylvania: The Keystone State passed a law in 2017 that included the legalization of sports betting, in the event that federal law changed. Now that it has, Pennsylvania is moving quickly with new regulations, although it's not clear if sportsbooks and online sports betting will go live in 2018. There are still lots of questions to iron out.

New York: No new law came out of NY in 2018 on sports betting. But an existing law allows for wagering at the state's four commercial casinos:

  • Del Lago Resort & Casino
  • Tioga Downs Casino
  • Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady
  • Resorts World Catskills

It's not clear if sports betting will get the green light at those casinos, however.

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